Monday, April 29, 2013

Shake Down Sail Numero Deux

A great sail to Antigua
Friday morning we got a “weather window” - a period of weather when the wind and seas are the size and from a direction you want – to go to Antigua.  It was a tight window for us but the winds were light so it should make a comfortable passage.  As I may have mentioned in the past I am not a fan of sailing to windward especially when there is a chance we won’t make it in one tack.  But I have to say that this trip turned out to be another happy and memorable passage. 
Leaving at day break by the light of the moon.
We left at the crack of dawn and followed the moonlight that shone across the water out of the bay at Colombier in St Barts.  We cranked up all the canvas and turned the engine off just as we were clearing St Barts and the morning sun was peaking through the hill tops.  Its over 70 miles to Antigua and not a trip we would normally undertake in daylight, but with a slightly larger boat we thought we would give it a go.  A light wind blew and we kept up a steady pace between 4-6kts.   Wandering Star was comfortable and she healed little.  I read while Sim tweaked the sails and figured out how to use the integrated chart plotter and radar! – yes! we have moved up in the world.  – Just because I could I ate ice cream when it was so hot I could stand it no longer.  It’s a tough life that we lead. (ps mental note to self – don’t eat ice cream at sea if you feel a bit icky – it only makes you feel worse!)
Sun setting at the end of the sail
Wandering Star sailed well, about 50 -55 degrees to the wind.  We were happy with that.  Much to our amazement the wind kept backing and we made it in one tack.  We normally would avoid arriving in the dark but we are very familiar with Five Islands Bay in Antigua. Just as the sun was setting, a large pod of whales cruised on by blowing huge spumes of spray out of the water. Five Islands is a large wide open bay and once again the full moon made an appearance, lighting up the sky to make our way in.  We finally dropped anchor at 9pm.
Arriving by the light of the moon!
I love Antigua, it is such a beautiful island. One that is better to be seen from the sea than the land.  Everywhere you look the water changes from one amazing hue of blue to another, sky meets ocean in the flick of a water colour brush.  It’s so colourful and cheery.  We motored around the next day to Falmouth Harbour where we have friends and where Antigua Sailing Week is being held. It’s a hive of activity, people are trying to surf and paddle board the breaking surf on the reef; kids are out sailing in laser dinghies, people are playing on the beach and in the sea and laughter is floating through the air. We’ve joined the celebrations and caught up with friends old and new.  It has been especially good to see our old friends Ruth and Angus from yacht “Do It” who we haven’t seen for 6 years.  We line handled on their boat when they went through the Panama Canal and they have just completed their circumnavigation of the world. They also have a steel yacht (which is for sale) so have been giving us lots of handy advice. Sim has gone and crewed on a friend’s 55ft Outreamer Catamaran that is racing today.
Leaving the fabulous Five Bays in the morning
 Beautiful waters of Antigua
Someones found their place!

Yacht Do IT - For Sale

Fun and games in Falmouth harbour

The big Mo Fo's including Maltese Falcon

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